Meet the First Filipino Member of the UAE Police Force


Johnray Cerna is just like any other hardworking Filipino abroad. Well, except for the fact that he is the first Filipino member of the United Arab Emirates Police force.

Cerna has been based in Ajman in UAE since 2006, and has been 4 years in the service as a “Shorta-Awal” in the Abu Dhabi Police.


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He originally hails from Zamboanga City in Mindanao, and is a graduate of Business Management from the Mindanao Sulu State College.

Between the years 1990 to 2000, he previously served as a member of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the Philippines. He also served as a Salesman and a Travel Agency Manager before he finally became a police officer in the UAE.

He is proficient in both written and spoken Arabic, and credits these as one of the reasons why he was hired as a police officer by a foreign land.

He shares that whatever your nationality is, if you want to stay out of trouble and be safe in a foreign country, you should be acquainted with local laws and customs. This is especially true with respect to countries belonging to the UAE, because of their deeply religious Muslim culture, which is vastly different from that of the Philippines.

The Abu Dhabi Police Force is involved with local, national and even international departments to ensure public peace and safety, and maintaining order. They are also responsible for manning the prisons and correctional departments in the emirates.

Their core ideals include public service, integrity, loyalty and honor for human rights.

They are under the Ministry of Interior, which is headed by Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

Johnray Cerna is a chief example of Filipino flexibility and endurance. He is one proof that Filipinos can thrive wherever they go, and can make the most even out of the most complex circumstances.

Kudos to you, sir!

Photo taken from Pacific Press.


Charlie Pelaez

A one-woman show. Peace. Love. Bacon. And all things geeky.

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